Who’s the biggest duck in boxing for 2015??
The political freeze between boxing promotional titans was finally lifted this past year, if only for a moment to witness the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight last May. With Golden Boy back at work with Top Rank, only Al Haymon’s PBC team seems to be going at it solo. This has given very little room for excuses for boxers who had previously been unavailable to box other contenders within their division.
That being said, who’s still out there ducking and dodging credible opponents?
Here’s a guy who was calling out everyone and their mother before finally getting and taking advantage of his shot against Shawn Porter in 2014. What has he done since? Nada. Ironically, he’s been calling out Amir Khan nonstop while criticizing Khan for avoiding him, yet Brook is doing the same exact thing only he’s avoiding everyone else while he tries to get the Khan fight. Brook demanded a rematch clause with Brandon Rios in negotiations that fell through and also couldn’t secure a Bradley fight. Let’s hope he fight’s a credible name in 2016.
Keith Thurman is generally the man who fears no boxer. He’s made claims that he’ll do whatever it takes to secure the big name fights, as he lacks them on his resume. But over the course of the last few months its been widely known that Thurman’s camp has been the roadblock in securing an anticipated brawl with Shawn Porter. While the fight is probably going to happen, a lot of boxing fans wished it would’ve happened before Christmas to setup even bigger matchup’s for 2016. Be more proactive Thurman- it’s the only way you’ll build your name.
Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto
They fear a 160lb boogeyman named Triple G
3. Adonis Stevenson
The champion at 175lbs was recently stripped of his Ring Magazine title for not having faced a top 5 ranked fighter in over two years. It’s hard to understand why a man closer to the end of his career than its beginning, would pass up big money fights with fellow countryman Jean Pascal and unified champion Sergey Kovalev.
The boxing public was excited to see the reign of Stevenson’s championship begin as he secured key victories in exciting fashion. But that momentum has floundered over the last couple of years with forgettable opponents and ducking contenders. Instead, Kovalev has capitalized on Stevenson’s inactivity by taking on Pascal, not once, but twice, as their rematch is scheduled next month. It’s a bit unusual to see a champion get overshadowed by another boxer in his division in Pascal, who’s only win in the last 23 months is against Yunieski Gonzalez.
2. Danny Garcia
“There will always be critics.” This was Garcia’s latest reply to his choice in opponent for his upcoming tilt with Robert Guerrero. Meanwhile, Garcia says he’ll take on all challengers at 147. Garcia became the unified and undisputed champion at 140lbs by knocking out Amir Khan and beating down Lucas Matthysse. After those key victories, Garcia ducked several credible opponents while taking his time scheduling any bouts, & stopped defending his title all together, only fighting above the 140lb weight limit. His last fight at the light welterweight limit wasn’t sanctioned at a championship bout as his opponent Rod Salka (is that his name?) wasn’t ranked..
He finally relinquished his titles and moved up to the welterweight limit but has only fought Paulie Malignaggi and now a seemingly washed up Guerrero. Garcia spends most of his time promoting his little known clothing line “DSG” or something to that extent.
I use to be excited to see a Garcia fight, now I only expect him to continue bottom feeding against older or highly overmatched opponents.
1. Amir Khan
Khan shouldn’t even be considered a professional boxer at this point. The devastating combination of inactivity, while attempting to maintain a public profile by calling out top tier boxers has been so excruciating to watch that I think I can actually start to see him growing a bill and forming webs around his toes.
Khan has no doubt, turned into boxing’s biggest duck. Turning down a massive payday to face IBF champion and fellow Englishman Kell Brook was only the beginning of Khan’s waddle to obscurity. Khan also turned down a fight last summer with Timothy Bradley because he didn’t like the inclination of the fight being an IBF eliminator. Khan, in his opinion, took the high road and faced Chris Algieri instead- barely escaping with a decision. Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, are other top ten boxers that have tried getting scheduled for ring dates with Khan.
Virgil Hunter, Khan’s famed trainer, can’t seem to instill the courage in his boxer that is seen in fighters who actually want to take chances and dare to be great, or in his case, relevant. So congratulations to Mr. Amir Khan for being No Sparring’s inaugural Duck of the Year!